The hidden nutrition in your Christmas dinner.

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Christmas is upon us and everyone is looking forward to a roast bird of some kind. Traditionally, we would have been feasting on goose, but nowadays we seem to favour the turkey as it is somewhat larger. Originating in Mexico, the turkey is thought to have first been brought to Britain in 1526 by Yorkshireman William Strickland

Henry VIII was the first English king to enjoy turkey, although Edward VII made eating turkey fashionable at Christmas. It replaced peacocks and swans on the table in Royal Courts.

Interestingly, in 1930 the turkey cost an average of one week’s wages to purchase and today it costs a mere 1.7 hours. How times have changed.

Fast forward to the modern day and the turkey is the most popular bird to grace our festive tables. One bird can feed several hungry mouths; in the UK we consume approximately 10 million turkeys over Christmas , while during Thanksgiving in America approximately 60 million are consumed.

So, what is it about this bird that makes it so popular?

Aside from being a good source of protein, turkey is also a good source of iron, zinc, potassium, selenium and phosphorus. Selenium can help with heart health, iron which helps with the production of hæmoglobin and red blood cells, potassium regulates water balance in the body and it controls the electrical activity of the heart. Zinc is beneficial for the immune system. Phosphorous helps with bone health.

Turkey is high in tryptophan which is a precursor of serotonin. This important amino acid helps us to sleep and fight anxiety. It can even reduce cravings for carbohydrates.

Eating good food really helps our bodies function as they should. Whilst family and friends are gathered around the table this Christmas, think how nutritionally beneficial your meal will be. Each element making a small contribution in one form or another.

A healthy Christmas meal is probably the best gift you can give to yourself and your family festive season. Make it a healthy one. Merry Christmas to each and every one of you.

Written by: Mimi

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